from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various small flies of the family Drosophilidae, having larvae that feed on ripening or fermenting fruits and vegetables, especially the common species Drosophila melanogaster often used in genetic research. Also called pomace fly, vinegar fly.
  • n. Any of various flies of the family Tephritidae, having larvae that hatch in and damage plant tissue.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any insect of the Tephritidae family, whose larvae damage plant tissue.
  • n. any insect of the Drosophilidae family, whose larvae feed on ripening fruit, especially the species Drosophila melanogaster that is used in genetic research.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a small dipterous insect of the genus Drosophila, which lives in fruit, in the larval state. There are seveal species, some of which are very damaging to fruit crops. One species, Drosophila melanogaster, has been intensively studied as a model species for genetic reserach.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dipterous insect of the family Muscidæ and genus Drosophila, the larvæ of which are found in decaying fruit, preserves, etc. The adult flies are small yellowish species with transparent wings.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of numerous small insects whose larvae feed on fruits


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The spooky dreams took a step toward reality in the 1990s when the Swiss biologist Walter Gehring isolated the corresponding gene from the fruit fly that was known to affect the development of eyes in vertebrates.

    The Edge of Evolution

  • One of the first homeotic fruit fly genes sequenced, in fact, coded for a protein that resembled the bacterial repressor protein that Jacob and Monod studied in the 1960s2

    The Edge of Evolution


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